Recently I watched the film Satyakaam (1969) by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and loved it for its messege. Original story is by the famous Bengali novelist - Narayan Sanyal. It tells us the story of a person named Satyapriya, his ideals, his life and the legacy he leaves behind.
Dharmendra is in the lead role. Wikipedia names this film to be the best of his career. And truly so. If someone watches the film, the height of the character - it is really tough to find such character again in the career of an actor.I have also read in the internet that this film was a favourite of Hrishikesh Mukherjee too.
Sanjeev Kumar plays the role of the close friend of Satyapriya - who narrates the whole story to us.
Ashok Kumar is the grandfather of Satyapriya- Satya Sharan Sharma, who inculcates the values in him from childhood, as his parents died early.
Sharmila Tagore plays the wife of Satyapriya.
Saarika is also there in the film as a child artist, the son of Satyapriya.
When the film starts, we are shown a quote by Mahatma Gandhi that -"For me Truth, Love, Conscience and Fearlessness - is God".
The introduction of the story is narrated by the friend (Sanjeev Kumar), who tells us about the journey to Himalayas, to attain the Truth by Satya Sharan. There he gets the messesge that the best way is always to search for the Truth. Then he comes back to society with the ideals of Satya nishtha, Satya aacharan and Satya sandhaan. These values become the guiding light of that family. So much so, that even uttering a lie would have been impossible for the family members.
Now the film Starts. The story takes us to the time of Independence, Satyapriya has a vision of a great nation in his eyes. But he faces corruption everywhere. Unable to adjust with it or accept it, he keeps on changing job.
During a job, meets a kind hearted maid of a Zamindar/ king, Sharmila, whom he treats respectfully. In the course of some unfortunate events, with a high aim, Satya priya decides to marry her. That action itself tells us the greatness as well as the strength of the heart of Satyapriya. For this step, his grandfather rejects him along with his wife.
As time goes on, they have a son. But their financial condition remains weak.
Now we also meet Sanjeev Kumar, who has learnt the way to live with the systems of the society. He tries to talk with Satyapriya to make him come out of his rigid stance. But his efforts go in vain.
Satyapriya is diagonised with Cancer. Sharmila faces financial problem. She gets an offer to make Satyapriya sign a document where he would have to compromise with his ideas, but which can fetch her a great fortune. Satyapriya realises the gravity of the situation and signs it, thinking about the hard life his wife would have to face after his death. But Sharmila throws it away. She could not see Satyapriya doing a compromise at the end of his life. She wants him to maintain his high values. Through Sharmila's action, tears of joy flows from Satyapriya's eyes, as he realises how his wife has embraced his ideals. Truly a memorable scene!!!!!
Now grandfather Satya sharan comes and appreciates his grandson, loves him and recites Geeta when Satyapriya's soul leaves the body.
Later while doing last rites, Satya sharan keeps the son of Satyapriya out of all the rituals with the excuse of his being a minor. But as his mother has told him, the child tells the real reason behind the decision of Satya sharan, (i e - Satyapriya may not be the real father of this child). This truth from the child's mouth opens the eyes of Satya Sharan. He names him as Satyakaam and his grand daughter in law as Jabaala. He embraces them, accepts them as family members.
The background narration tells us that it is not only by the blood relations, but the person who carries the ideals/ values - Is the one who truly takes ahead the great lineage of a family.
Wonderful film! Satyapriya's character, its struggle, Satya Sharan's character and ideals, Sharmila's character- all are very nicely show. we can compare the character of Sanjeev Kumar, with Satyapriya; their different approaches to deal with a situation, their friendship, trust, mutual understanding! Their friendship is so deep, so fulfilling! Everything in the movie is to be cherished. It is something which makes us think after the ending. Something which remains after all these incidents, which does not end with the body. Which all the near and dear ones of Satyapriya carry forward with them after his death. That is Truth indeed. A very subtle essence, without which the creation cannot exist!! Great messege by the film/ director/ actors, by the story. Salute to all of them.
Do watch it to have an amazing experience :)
Jai Shri Krishna.